Mampoer
A new site in South Africa which will invite writers to submit pieces of long-form journalism to be downloadable on digital devices will launch in the coming weeks.

One of the people behind Mampoer, Anton Harber - who is also a professor of journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg - said the platform will aim to "fill a gap" in the South African publishing industry "for writing that falls between your standard magazine piece of maybe 2,000 words, and a book".

"We think there's a gap and a space there which ePublishing opens up for us."

Mampoer, described as a "great innovation in the publishing industry" by Africa technology site HumanIPO, will commission pieces from writer and then sell them direct to readers who can consume them across tablet, mobile and desktop digital devices.

Pieces will generally be around 5,000 to 15,000 words, but Harber said there will be some amount of experimentation at the start to "see what works and what readers want".

"But the idea is that it should be what I call a one-sitting read ... Not too short, richer than a magazine article, but less than a book."

The pieces will be sold for $2.99, and with writers able to earn a royalty Harber added that if the project works, writers should have the chance of "earning reasonably from it".

For readers it will be "like Kindle singles," Harber explains. "We've designed it so you pay, you download individual stories or batches of stories and they can be consumed on any device."

The project's website, which will act as an explainer for visitors as well as a place to submit content, will go live in around a week's time with a soft launch.

The site will explain how readers can pay and download material, and will also "invite them to participate in discussions and events around the writing", Harber said.

Initially writers will be asked to submit a page answering questions about their proposed content, which the team will then respond to.

As well as publishing the pieces direct to the public Harber said the team have also been "discussing some publication of extracts or pieces with conventional media as well".

"For our country this is a very new and fresh venture, and as I say there's a very big gap in our market and our outlets, but our view is very much experimental.

"This is new, we're going to try different models, different ideas, different genres, different approaches and go with what works."

Mampoer is tweeting from @MampoerShorts on Twitter.

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